NBA-Hawks prevent comeback by Lakers

Dec 4 (The Sports Xchange) - Center Al Horford scored 16 points to lead five double-figure scorers and added nine rebounds as the Hawks took a 19-point lead in the second quarter and held off a Lakers rally for a 100-87 victory on Friday. Forward Kobe Bryant, who scored 31 points on Wednesday at Washington to help the Lakers snap a seven-game losing streak, scored 14 points while making only 4-of-19 shots from the field. A capacity crowd of 19,015 -- just the Hawks' fourth sellout of the season -- came out to be part of Bryant's last game in Atlanta and saw only a few flashes from the NBA's third-highest scorer. A jumper by Bryant drew the Lakers to 87-83 with under five minutes to play, but the Hawks went on an 8-0 run to regain control and erase the sting of blowing a 17-point lead in a loss to Toronto on Wednesday. "We weren't thinking about Kobe," Horford said. "We were thinking about beating the Lakers and getting a win." The Hawks got 41 points from their bench, with forward Mike Scott following Bazemore with 14 points. Forward Paul Millsap had 15 points and eight rebounds and guard Jeff Teague contributed 13 points and five assists. Guard Lou Williams had 18 points off the bench to lead the Lakers. Rookie guard D'Angelo Russell had 16 points and a game-best 10 rebounds but also committed a game-high seven turnovers. Bryant hit back-to-back three-point shots to cap an 18-7 run by the Lakers in the third quarter and Los Angeles pulled within 72-66 going into the fourth quarter. The Hawks, though, outscored the Lakers 13-4 to end the game. "It looked like we just ran out of gas," Lakers coach Byron Scott said. "It's hard when you let yourself get down like that." The Hawks outscored the Lakers 29-17 in the second quarter to take a 52-36 halftime lead as they committed just two turnovers and got 12 points from Horford. The Lakers missed their first nine shots, three by Bryant, while falling behind 7-0 but were able to get within 23-19 at the end of the first quarter thanks to 10 points off the bench by Williams. "This is my hometown, so it was nice to be part of Kobe's last go-around here and see the outpouring for him," Williams said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't pull it out. When you spot a good team a lead like that, it's hard to come back."